Shane Osborn on War & Peace
The Chinese pilot dropped away again. But the Finback approached again from our left rear; he pitched up and tried to turn away to stop his rate of closure. But it was too late. The fighter's long fuselage rose toward the chopping propeller blades. The unimaginable had happened. The pilot had just smashed his plane into ours.
I realized that the propeller of my number one engine had cut the Finback in two. The front half of the Finback smashed directly into our nose.
Then another, colder thought struck me. We're alive, but we're also in Communist China. I didn't consider ourselves to be POWs yet. The collision with the Finback had been an accident caused by poor airmanship and aggressive flying, not an act of war. At this stage, I could not imagine that the Chinese would find a reason to keep us there very long. I would soon find out how wrong I was.
Later that evening, I tried in vain to sleep. Nightmare images of the collision kept popping into my head. Reliving the traumatic 33 minutes, I knew there was nothing I could or would have done differently.
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